Today’s post is a little different from the usual content on my blog. In a world where we’re inundated with content, hopefully this can post can support you to maximise real learning from what you choose to read.
Im going to share a list of strategies that I picked up that can support learning from reading. This can be particularly applicable for research papers. Its quite simple, and will help you with the 3 stages of reading: the preparation; the during; and the completion.
Before you read
- Flick through the chapter or paper
- Consider what is it am I supposed to be learning?
- Reflect on what you may already know about the subject
While you read
- Divide the content into sections and stop at each section to reflect on what you’ve read and learnt
- Practice summarising key points in your own words
- Note any key terms you recall and try to explain them
- Note any questions you have about the content
- Relate info to anything you already know about the subject
- Write down any insights you have
- Write down questions & insights re the text and relate to other pages/chapters where relevant
After you’ve read
- Revisit your learning objectives and consider what you know and what further questions you may have
- Test yourself and try to locate gaps in your understanding
- Analyse and critique where you can, identifying strengths, grey areas and areas for development
- Identify what stands out
- Discuss the content with someone else. Can you brake it down like you were explaining it to a child? Could you summarise in a couple of sentences, such as an elevator pitch?
- If you have no one around, practice explaining what you’ve learnt out loud
Ok, hope some of this helps, it’s definitely helped me to order my thinking and actually retain information, which is not an easy task in today’s world!